Today we are going to talk about quite special watch. Yes, I know, there are several other models in my reviews pipeline, but this model deserves to be published first. New Seiko SRQ029 Panda Limited Edition will be limited just to 1000 pieces. This watch celebrates Japanese chronograph anniversary and mimics the first model released in 1969. Nevertheless, this is not just plain reissue of the old design. It is already available so we decided to take a closer look.
Here you can read about another Japanese watch.
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You can get this watch in Helveti webshop.
New release mimics layout and design of the model which came out in 1969 – 50 years ago. This is not fully classic “panda” layout because two dark subdials are close to each other on “6” and “9” marks. Light subdial can be found on “3”. Together they create quite distinct composition which looks good in person. Keep in mind the fact that original model had two subdials only.
Note that left subdial features double layout which was present on original watch. My head still freezes when I look at it because I am not sure if everything doubles in my eyes or there are actually two digits. 😀
Next update is the date window. Original watch featured squarish window with date and day indicator on “3” mark. SRQ029 offers different design in form of circular window on “4” mark. It looks unusually deep in person, but still easy to read.
Don’t forget about Prospex logo, which is added just below Seiko sign. I am not sure if such obsession with putting this logo everywhere is the right thing to do. Extra letters just make whole dial busier, because there is less room and everything looks cluttered on one plate. 41mm diameter is not that generous in estate, and it is evident once you take a look at the dial.
I could write here that whole case is finished in traditional Seiko style and be done with it. Nevertheless, Japanese brand decided to use zaratsu-polishing in order to bring out the edges. All those shiny surfaces look good…until the first scratch. SRQ029 requires careful wearing or you will end up with ugly-looking case.
It is still amazing how Japanese designers can make something so simple and yet beautiful. All those edges and plains show new sides under different light angles. This feature is pleasure to look at and might be hypnotizing for those who appreciate such clean design.
This part promised to be interesting. From one side we all know Seiko divers which are famous for their generous lume layer. From another side this is not diver and applied indices feature tiny luminous inserts. On the photos and video you can see what actually lights up in the dark.
This is not some crazy lume, but still should be enough for checking time in the dark. Nice to see whole hands covered with green layer what adds to readability.
Seiko SRQ029 Panda Limited Edition comes with metal bracelet only. There are no other options or bonuses in the package. I concur, such accessory makes whole image complete, everything looks right in place. Nobody stops you from changing the strap, but in my opinion that is one of the image-building things in the new watch.
I think you should pay attention to this part because it might be one of the main reasons justifying the price. New watch comes with 8R48 automatic caliber. This movement can be named as in-house, because it is designed and made entirely be Seiko. Today, when there are some ETA chrono watches sold for 3000 EUR and higher, this comes as an extra advantage.
Some fans name it as “Japanese Sandwich” hinting on one of the main “features” – thickness. Like it or not, but due to such movement watch is towering on your wrist, so forget about hiding it under the sleeve. Here we can talk about use experience.
First of all let me say that I spent one day with this watch. You can see on the photos that protecting film wasn’t removed. Polished surfaces make extremely easy to scratch, so I decided to keep this protection in order to avoid funny accidents. SRQ029 feels great on your wrist despite its noticeable thickness. It doesn’t matter on which hand you wear this watch, buttons still easy to operate.
Sleek case and dial design make it perfect dress watch in case you hate “simple” models. This is one stealthy watch which will be recognized only by crazy fans of the Japanese brand. Such feature might be a great advantage for some of us, but it can be also a good topic-starter when you will ask somebody to guess the price. Just don’t forget to take a photo of their face once you announce those four digits.
Seiko SRQ029 Panda Limited Edition – Price and Availabilty
I guess we all heard about Seiko’s recent decision to move higher in price. Recent release show noticeably bigger price tags and this limited edition is not an exclusion from the new rule. SRQ029 will be available for 3700 EUR. This is dangerously close to Grand Seiko models, but I have no doubt that such rare watch will be quickly sold out. Japanese masters succeeded in one thing – there won’t be neutral opinion on this watch for sure.
- Caliber 8R48, Automatic Chronograph
- Chronograph up to 12 hours
- Column wheel and vertical clutch systems
- Vibrations: 28,800 vibrations per hour (8 beats per second)
- Power reserve: 45 hours
- Jewels: 34
- Stainless steel case and bracelet with super-hard coating (SRQ029)
- Three-fold clasp with push button release
- Box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
- Diameter: 41.0mm Thickness: 16.0mm (SRQ029)
- Water resistance: 10 bar
- Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
- Approximate retail prices in Europe: €3,700 (SRQ029)
- Limited edition of 1,000 pieces